10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
" The lead up to the game was good, the mood in the squad was very positive to say the least. We had a couple of good training sessions when we got over to London and I would say there was an air of confidence going into the game. You have to have that going into games like this. It was my first time to play in Twickenham against England in a Six Nations championship game and the atmosphere was pretty awesome when we came out. I took about 10 or 15 second to take it all in, enjoy it if you like, but then it's a question of blocking out the surroundings and focussing quite literally on what's in front of you."
And right in front of Wallace and his colleagues was an England side intent on gaining payback for the autumn defeat in Dublin. " It started well enough except for the injury to Geordan (Murphy) and David Humphreys gave us the early lead we wanted. The pace of the game wasn't especially fast, it might have seemed it was but it was just that phases of play were at a high tempo really."
At half time Eddie, Gaillimh and Woody spoke to us. They talked about our defence, said we had to stop playing sevens type rugby, try and get to play the game in their half and get possession and keep it."
"It began badly for us with those two tries but then we got our act together and we had a good final quarter. So that was a plus really and I dont think it was a question of them going out of the game but rather us coming into it."
There was a certain frustration for Wallace in that opening half because, "things weren't coming in my direction. I was out on the open side and they went down the blind a few times. Their backs really played very well, all of them. it was one of those days when everything went just right for them and when it does they're very hard to stop."
Was facing into a big deficit at half time a demoralising factor? " No not for me. It works the other way, it makes we want to work harder. Even when you're a long way behind you have to still think about trying to win the game."
And where do we go from here. " We just have to pick ourselves up and get on with it. I know it sounds cliched but it's as simple as that. The next game is against Scotland so we put this one behind us and get ready for that. We know we are better than that last game. That's not taking away from the English. They played well and I think that result puts them number one in world ranking. They deserve that. But as I said everything went right for them, something like how things went for us against Wales. There are areas we have to look at and work on and that's what we'll do. We'll meet during the week and talk it through, see where we went wrong. It was disappointing for everyone concerned, players, management and supporters but it goes without saying we didn't set out to play like that."